Dementia Hits Cabinet, Takes Credibility

At first I thought it was a brave politician revealing his secret struggle with an illness. But no, this  was a top-ranking Cabinet Minister communicating his view on the major economic policy issue facing the country.

OK, if you’re reading this you’ve seen it already. It deservedly went viral in a matter of minutes. But few, including me, can resist comment.

The first that came to mind was that when Julia says she’s going to **** your brains out, in Craig Emerson’s case she succeeds.

But I eliminated that as being far too long a time lag. And insufficiently serious.

Rather, Emerson’s painfully arrhythmic monotone stylings really say three things:

  • the ALP hasn’t learnt its lesson from all the staffer-smartarsery that dogged PM Rudd, led to the idiocy of the Australia Day “riot”, and sees government as an extension of Uni politics
  • a particular Chief of Staff or Senior Media Adviser is grossly undergunned for their role
  • all the talk about the ALP reconnecting to the grassroots community is utter gumph.

OK, so Emerson has been out and about as the face of the government for months. With his ‘style’ it’s understandable his staff may have wanted to jazz up his presentation a bit.

But, but..but! For a government whose economic and managerial cred is poor, and that is seen as being captive to Green tokenism and badge-wearing, to promote this sort of stunt is just mindboggling.

Especially when Emerson is so senior in the government and in a core economic portfolio – Trade. He spends so much time spinning and doorstopping it’s a wonder we sell anything overseas.

I hate to say it since I’m a relative amateur in politics, but it is just amateurish in the extreme.

This wasn’t ad-libbed. There was some adviser in the background with a queued-up track, and those cracking dance-moves had been run through several times before.

Equally though, it just shows how little respect the lifelong politico has for ordinary people. They clearly believed that it would help sell the message, rather than communicate the contempt they feel for the intellect of the people they claim to serve.

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